Zurich, Paris and Hong Kong are the most expensive cities in the world

According to a study by The Economist on the cost of living in the world, the impact of the pandemic on the dollar has upset the ranking of the most expensive cities in the world.

The three most expensive cities in the world in 2020 are Zurich, Paris and Hong Kong, according to the study on the cost of living what has just published The Economist. This annual report is based on the prices of 138 goods and services recorded in September 2020 in 130 major cities around the world, the benchmark used being that of the prices charged in New York.

In 2020, the cost of living in Zurich and Paris exceeded that of Singapore and Osaka, according to this study. In general, many variations can be explained by the rise in European currencies (euro and Swiss franc) against the US dollar, strongly affected by the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic:

The pandemic weakened the dollar as the currencies of Western Europe and northern Asia strengthened. This is a development that has had consequences for the cost of goods and services. ”

New York, which is back four places, is thus ranked this year in seventh place tied with Geneva, while in Los Angeles the cost of living is now considered equivalent to that of Copenhagen. Tied at 32e rank, Amsterdam, Brussels, Düsseldorf and Rome, on the other hand, jumped eleven places to the top of the ranking compared to 2019.

Everywhere, the pandemic has affected prices: in confinement, consumers revise the hierarchy of goods and services they consider essential. Failures in supply chains (which sometimes led to shortages of products such as toilet paper rolls or pasta), but especially remote working, played a role in the recorded variations. According to The Economist, Laptop prices have thus increased by 18.7 points on average.

The study predicts that the global economy will not return until 2022 to pre-pandemic levels. If we believe The Economist, consumer spending will remain limited in 2021, with substantially identical priorities given to basic goods, home entertainment and internet access – to the detriment, in particular, of clothing.

The top 10 most expensive cities in the world

  • 1. Zurich
  • 2. Paris
  • 3. Hong Kong
  • 4. Singapore
  • 5. Tel-Aviv
  • 6. Osaka
  • 7. Geneva
  • 8. New York
  • 9. Copenhage
  • 10. Los Angeles

Source : Worldwide Cost of Living 2020, The Economist


Great institution of the British press, The Economist, founded in 1843 by a Scottish hatter, is the bible for all those interested in international news. Openly liberal, he generally defends free trade,


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